Editorial: Sevier County’s Teachers of the Year represent a noble profession

Mar. 25, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

Not many people go into the teaching profession as a fallback. They choose to teach because they want to, because they feel led to, because they see it was a rewarding, if difficult and challenging, way to make a living. They want to be a positive influence on young people. They experienced a calling.

That’s true of many of the teachers in the Sevier County school system. Not all can achieve greatness in the classroom. Not all can turn around every struggling, troubled youngster facing them each day. But when you can ignite that spark, turn on that young brain, get kids excited to learn — well, that’s really something.

Each year Sevier County schools nominate teachers at three levels to be teachers of the year: secondary, middle and primary. Among those nominations are produced three overall teachers of the year. This year’s winners are Carrie Rudder, a teacher at Pigeon Forge High, Secondary Teacher of the Year; Chad Loveday, math/social studies teacher at Jones Cove, Teacher of the Year for middle grades; and Megan Huskey, music/chorus teacher at Calettsburg, Teacher of the Year for primary grades.

These three won the trophies, but they will be the first to say that their colleagues are just as gifted and just as dedicated as they are. It’s a little like the winner of an Academy Award for acting. Yes, their film performance was outstanding, but so were lots of others. One overall winner should not and does not diminish the contributions of others in line for any recognition and honor.

Teaching kids is tough. Try it sometime. The public — the ones who pay for everything — expects a lot from them. So do administrators, parents, children and evaluators. Reaching youngsters raised on video games, cell phones and Facebook is daunting and requires innovation and creativity every day. The three winners have that gift.

As we applaud these three overall winners, we also salute others in this system who work hard each day to educate a diverse group of children who bring to school each day their own set of problems and pain. Teaching is a noble and honorable profession. Carrie Rudder, Chad Loveday and Megan Huskey honor it.